Masaharu Fukuyama (福山雅治 Fukuyama Masaharu?, born February 6, 1969) is a Japanese musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and actor from Nagasaki. He is represented by the agency Amuse, Inc.. He debuted in 1990 with the single "Tsuioku no Ame no Naka".
While he can also be seen in Japanese television drama, Fukuyama is best known for his singing career. His 1992 breakout single "Good night" gained a wide audience because of its tie-in with a TV drama. In 1993, he made his first appearance in Kōhaku Uta Gassen, on which only successful J-pop and enka artists are invited to perform. Propelled by the success of Hitotsu Yane no Shita, in which he played Chinichan, the second older brother in the Kashiwagi family, he had his first million-selling single, "It's Only Love/Sorry Baby", in 1994. His 1995 single "Hello" became the second highest selling single that year.
He took a hiatus in 1996, stopping all his entertainment activities except his radio shows. He returned to the entertainment scene in 1998, and his first single after two years hiatus, "Heart/You", landed at number 3 on Oricon chart and sold 569,000 copies in total. Encouraged by this success, he begins his Daikanshasai (Thanksgiving) series of concerts, to show his appreciation from the support he obtained from his fans.
"Sakura Zaka" and "Niji" are among Masaharu's popular songs. His 2000 single "Sakura Zaka" sold more than 751,000 copies in its first week and remained at the top of the Japanese Oricon chart for 3 consecutive weeks; it sold about 2,299,000 copies on the Oricon charts overall. "Niji" was a theme song for the Japanese drama Water Boys. His triple A-side single "Niji/Himawari/Sore ga Subete sa", released on August 26, 2003, debuted at No. 1 on the Oricon single charts and topped them for five consecutive weeks. His has cemented his status as the best-selling male solo artist in Japan, having sold 21.27 million copies so far.
In 2007, after a four-years absence from drama, Fukuyama returned to television, starring as the brilliant but eccentric physics associate professor, Manabu Yukawa, in the television drama Galileo. His won "Best Actor" at the 55th Television Drama Academy Awards for the role. He also formed a band, KOH+, with his co-star in the drama Kou Shibasaki.
In 2008, NHK selected Fukuyama to portray Sakamoto Ryōma, the title character, in the 2010 year-long prime-time television Taiga drama Ryōmaden.
In 2009, he held his 20th anniversary national arena tour which covered 36 performances in 12 cities over four consecutive months (June to September) with a total audience count of 500,000. Two weeks before the tour started, he held four shows at the Nippon Budokan (May 28, 29 and June 4, 5) his first ever solo concerts there, as part of his almost yearly thanksgiving concert ritual. While the Tour was still ongoing, on August 29 and 30, he went back to his hometown Nagasaki and held two open-air concerts at the Mount Inasa Park outdoor stage, with simultaneous public viewing free of charge for 50,000 Nagasaki citizens at the nearby Nagasaki Baseball Stadium (commonly known as the Big N to locals). Official figures announced a final audience count of 80,000 for the Mount Inasa concerts and Big N public viewing, in just over the two days alone.
The master ringtone (Chaku Uta) download of his song "Hatsukoi" began on November 6, 2009. It sold about 150,000 downloads in five days, and, on November 13, 2009, it was announced that the song would be released as a physical CD single on December 16, 2009. The single debuted at number 1 on the Oricon weekly charts, with sales of around 151,000 copies in the first week of the release. He performed "Hatsukoi" at the 60th NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen on New Year's Eve 2009, his first appearance at the event since 1993.
On September 28, 2015, Fukuyama married actress Kazue Fukiishi, 13 years his junior.
1994: On and On
1998: Sing a Song
2006: 5 Nen Mono
Sources: Last.fm, Wikipedia
Masaharu Fukuyama in the news
|Songs by Masaharu Fukuyama|